Longtime CBS 60 Minutes correspondent Morley Safer has died at age 84, having retiring just a week earlier due to his health. Safer will go down in history as the television news show's longest-serving correspondent. He narrated segments that explored some of America's most pressing issues for a total of 46 seasons. On May 15, CBS aired a segment dedicated to the renowned journalist called "Morley Safer: A Reporter's Life." A gifted and daring storyteller, Safer did what he loved to do up until the end.
60 Minutes executive producer Jeff Fager was interviewed in the segment:
Morley has had a brilliant career as a reporter and as one of the most significant figures in CBS News history, on our broadcast and in many of our lives. Morley's curiosity, his sense of adventure and his superb writing, all made for exceptional work done by a remarkable man.
In the early stages of his career, Safer committed himself, and his his life, to journalism. As a reporter for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, he reported on the 1956 Egypt-Israeli conflict, and went on to spend two years in Vietnam upon joining CBS. There, he sent footage to the states of U.S. soldiers setting native villages on fire with lighters. For one of the first times ever, Americans were given a firsthand glimpse into the horrors of the war. He continued to cover dangerous areas, such as communist China, and ascended the ranks to become CBS’ London bureau chief. In 1970, he joined 60 Minutes and never looked back.
On the day the celebratory segment was broadcast, Safer tweeted to his fans and thanked them for their support. On average, 60 Minutes attracted 12.2 million viewers per week during its peak 2013-2104 season.
Just days prior to announcing his retirement, Safer also showed that he had clearly held onto his sense of humor, which was cleverly incorporated into his newscasts.
The world of journalism lost an incredible reporter on Thursday, but that doesn't mean it can't continue to learn from him.